I had the occasion to send the following e-mail in July of last year after a series of conversations and e-mail exchanges with a struggling founder. I thought it was apropos the current angst in Silicon Valley.
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2007 3:32 PM
Subject: Please be healthy
It’s a challenge to maintain work life balance, whether it’s the driven by the demands of success or the need to make changes that will make your business work. Please take it easy and make one or two changes that stick (whether it’s walking or diet or meditation or spending more time reading). For me it takes months to change habits, so pick just one thing and make it stick: then a second might be easier.
Just a thought.
We work with a lot of folks who are restructuring or rethinking their business. The stress you feel is not at all uncommon. I have a quote from Gerald Weinberg that I keep handy “What looks like a crisis is only the end of an illusion.” I don’t pass this along to demean or diminish what you have accomplished, but to stress the need to see things clearly as they are.
One other thought: traction is the ability to set and hit targets reliably.
If you find that you are setting goals for things that are under you control (e.g. closing business is not under your control, placing calls or sending e-mails is) that you are not hitting, scale back until you are able to get traction. Free advice from someone who has been there (and returns periodically).
I leave you with a quote from J. R. R. Tolkien that I have found to be an inspiration when I am wandering, worried that I am lost:
“All that is gold does not glitter,
not all those who wander are lost;
the old that is strong does not wither,
deep roots are not reached by the frost.
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